In a recent interview with People, Kelis discussed for the first time the loss of her husband, Mike Mora, and how she has maintained a positive outlook after his passing.

After the birth of their third child, Mora was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer. He died at 37 years old in March following a two-year-long health battle. Kelis revealed that leading up to his death; she decided to focus on treasuring their final moments together.

According to Kelis, Mora’s diagnosis was never hidden from their children. “It wasn’t something that was sudden. We were able to prepare, love, and say goodbye,” Kelis said. “We were able to spend the time that we needed to, as much as we were given, the best way that we could. Is it a great situation? No, it’s freaking awful, but I am grateful.”

The 43-year-old singer shared that his death taught her to cherish time and celebrate people. “It doesn’t change the fact that I’m heartbroken. But it does change how I choose to approach it,” Kelis expressed. “It reminds you how short time is and how we don’t have any control. I want to control what I can control — how I treat the people around me. I’m really big on celebrating people when they’re here. I don’t feel like it’s as useful when they’re gone.”

Kelis will celebrate the 20th anniversary of her third studio album, Tasty, next year, which features the Grammy-nominated track “Milkshake.” According to the singer, she is looking forward to celebrating the album’s big milestone. “This is going to sound really cocky and really arrogant, but I saw a picture of myself that someone posted [from the Tasty era] earlier today, and I was like, ‘You know what, I was freaking killing it,'” she confessed. “Sometimes you just need to remind yourself, ‘I’ve been this, and I’ve been doing it.’ It’s OK to say that.”